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In October 2015, the EBRD confirmed the provision of a syndicated loan of up to €200 million to one of Turkey’s leading automotive companies, Tofaș Türk Otomobil Fabrikası A.Ş.

The majority of the loan, of which €100 million is syndicated to HSBC Bank PLC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will be used to strengthen Tofaș’s research and development facilities which include engineering, design and prototype development of the new models. However, the recruitment and retention of skilled blue-collar workers has been an increasing challenge for Tofaș, both due to generational changes in young people’s aspirations and the low reputation of vocational training and jobs.

In addition to the loan, therefore, the EBRD is providing technical assistance to Tofaș to enable greater employment opportunities for young people through improved access to vocational training and closer partnerships with schools to encourage students to take up work with the company after completing their education. Targeted training based on industry-academy partnerships will help overcome the discrepancy that currently exists between labour supply and demand in the Turkish automotive industry. It is a win-win solution, addressing one of Tofaș’s major operational challenges while contributing towards youth inclusion in the broader economy.

The Bank also aims to bring more women into this traditionally male-dominated sector by supporting Tofaș to adopt best practices in equal opportunity policies in relation to recruitment, career management and workplace practices.